Welcome to Clean Food Central!

More than just a recipe site, we are your soup-to-nuts resource for eating clean every single day.

Cheat Sheets

Being a teacher at my core, these cheat sheets are my favorite part of the site! Each one is an individual little gem of a clean cuisine tip, mini-lesson or shortcut. Pop them up instantly to use online or print them out to post on your fridge. You can also get a binder
and group the hard copies together in an attractive “clean kitchen manual”. They range in topic from “the basics” including things like measurement equivalents and shopping list templates all the way through practical gourmet techniques like cooking seafood in parchment to keep fishy odors out of your kitchen. I recommend choosing one a week to try out and incorporate into your regime. Taking on one at a time will help you transfer these tips and strategies off their pretty pages and into your regular habits.

Got an idea for something new you’d like a “clean cheat” for? Send me a note and suggest it. We’re adding new cheat sheets to Clean Food Central all the time.

Batching Cheats

  • Batch Freezing

    At least once per week plan to double or triple an easy entrée recipe for batch freezing. Great options include soups, stews, chilies, casseroles, enchiladas and lasagna. Eat 1, freeze 1-2. Within a month you will have a stock of homemade frozen dinners you can integrate into your weekly menus to save yourself a night of cooking every week.

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Clean Conversions

  • Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Favorite Comfort Foods

    Everyone has a favorite comfort food and unless you’re working toward an extreme fitness goal, there should be occasional opportunities for indulgence in the average diet. But comfort foods don’t have to be nutritional nightmares to provide the pleasure and familiarity we’re looking for. Following are ten easy ways to improve the nutritional impact of popular comfort foods while preserving the flavor and texture qualities we love.

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  • 3 Quick and Easy No-Cook Sauces

    Tasty, nutrient-packed sauces are one of the key components of clean eating. You can easily mix and match simply prepared proteins such as chicken, eggs, meats, seafood and even beans with seasonal vegetables and a little fat for a quick and healthy meal. But that gets pretty boring without some kind of tasty seasoning. Learning how to whip up an easy sauce will keep your palate (and your family!) much happier about eating clean.

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  • Quick Cooking Conversions

    Sometimes you need to quickly convert different units or measurements from one to another when cooking. Keep this chart handy to help you in a pinch. The food equivalencies are approximate.

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  • Grain-Free Wrap, Bread or Roll Substitutes

    When Americans think lunch, they often think “sandwich”. Here at Clean Food Central we try to inspire you to think beyond two pieces of flabby bread, cold cuts and cheese. As bread is high in starch with a high glycemic load and pretty low nutrient density, we encourage you to swap out your toast and wraps for something a littlemore creative with a lot more nutritional bang for your buck.

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  • Veg “Rice” Options

    White rice is essentially filler for the belly. It’s pretty much all starch that converts very quickly into sugar in your bloodstream, with very little nutritional value. It has no place in a clean diet. While whole grain rice has more fiber and nutrients than its refined counterpart, unless you need a dense carb and can handle the inflammatory factor, it’s still not a great option.

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  • Veg “Pasta” Options

    Everyone loves pasta, but many people don’t tolerate either the carb-load or the gluten in classic flour-based pastas particularly well. By substituting fresh produce (naturally gluten-free) for flour-based pasta, you are not only dropping a ton of starch and calories, but also adding a variety of important phytonutrients.

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Clean Drinks

  • Gluten-Free Liquor

    Many common forms of alcohol are made from grains, and most of the grains used for alcohol production contain gluten. If you are avoiding gluten in your diet, you will be completely safe with wine/beer/spirits that have been fermented and/or distilled from gluten-free ingredients, such as corn, potatoes, grapes, honey, rice and sorghum.

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Clean Health

  • COACH NOTES: 5 Effective Eating Strategies for a Post-Holiday System Reboot

    Okay, the party’s over, tinsel’s all picked out of the carpet and it’s time to get serious about eating clean again. If you ate indulgently over the holidays, you are probably feeling the effects… a slight muzziness in your thinking, morning bloat, won’t-quit cravings… you know what I’m talking about. The good news is that if your eating baseline is healthy it won’t take much time to banish those belly blues and get you right back on track. Try any or all of these five simple tips to calm your cravings, restore digestive harmony and lean you out to pre-holiday hotness. Practice each strategy for a minimum of three days and until you feel your system returning to its former glory.

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  • Homemade Yogurt

    The conflict rages on about the positive benefits versus negative consequences of consuming dairy products, but everyone agrees that clean, fermented dairy is the most digestible form. With yogurt, the live cultures also help to repopulate the human gut with beneficial probiotics, a positive for everyone who wants a smoothrunning digestive system. Learn how to make your own easily at home.

    Download Now!
  • Fire Cider

    One of my favorite folk remedies for fighting off colds in the early stages and boosting immunity in the cold weather season is fire cider. Though it originated in this country over a century ago, it is still a helpful remedy in modern times.

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  • Eat Your Veggies

    Everybody and their brother knows you’re supposed to eat lots of vegetables. Veggies are nutrient powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants – all crucial to health and vibrancy. Eating lots of them (at least 5 cups a day) dramatically reduces your risk of chronic disease.

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  • Helpful Habits for Healthy Fat Loss: The Slow Road

    Time and again research and experience bears out this fundamental truth: Lasting transformation is a series of small, cumulative steps over time. 95% of the time, diets and weight loss plans for quick fat loss are not sustainable over the long haul. If you can let go of the fantasy notion of overnight transformation, consider making slow steady changes to your daily habits.

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  • 10 Good Reasons to Chew Your Food

    Because most of us don’t. Most of us eat like snakes, breaking down our bites just enough so they’ll fit down our throats before swallowing. The average number of times Americans chew each bite is 5-7. This may work fine for pudding, but it’s not great for something with any fiber in it, like broccoli. The act of thoroughly chewing your food is a powerful and often overlooked key to greater health, both physical and mental.

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Clean Nutrition

  • Simply Clean System Guidelines – Start Here

    The heart of the success of the Simply Clean system is consistency. You will streamline delicious clean eating into something you can do with a minimum of thought and prep every single day. In just a couple of weeks, eating clean will feel easy and automatic. When Simply Clean eating becomes second nature for you, your weight will normalize and your energy will crank up a notch. And Clean Food Central will provide you with all the tools you need along the way.

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  • Wildcrafting Edible Weeds

    In warm seasons you can find dandelion greens and chive blossoms in the natural food stores and even some supermarket chains, but it’s cheap and easy to wild craft your own right from your own yard.

    Download Now!
  • Fire Cider

    One of my favorite folk remedies for fighting off colds in the early stages and boosting immunity in the cold weather season is fire cider. Though it originated in this country over a century ago, it is still a helpful remedy in modern times.

    Download Now!
  • Eat Your Veggies

    Everybody and their brother knows you’re supposed to eat lots of vegetables. Veggies are nutrient powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants – all crucial to health and vibrancy. Eating lots of them (at least 5 cups a day) dramatically reduces your risk of chronic disease.

    Download Now!
  • Macronutrient Mix & Match Chart: Women’s Fat Loss

    This chart is a bit different. It provides you with a basic meal-builder based on macronutrients: protein, fat and carbs, as a general guide for women's fat loss. The first 3 columns give you the meal fundamentals while the last column of "control carbs", gives you options from low-to-mid glycemic load. Consider this a gentle, non-diet way to reduce excess body fat.

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Purchasing

  • Clean Food Pantry Staples

    Flexible everyday cooking requires that you keep your dry goods pantry well supplied with high-quality basics. Following is a list of the top ten foods you should stock on a regular basis for making tasty and nutritious meals and snacks quickly. If you keep these items on hand at all times, they will provide a base for building easy meals from the fresh, seasonal perishables you purchase each week –animal foods, fruit and vegetables.

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Technique Cheats

  • Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Favorite Comfort Foods

    Everyone has a favorite comfort food and unless you’re working toward an extreme fitness goal, there should be occasional opportunities for indulgence in the average diet. But comfort foods don’t have to be nutritional nightmares to provide the pleasure and familiarity we’re looking for. Following are ten easy ways to improve the nutritional impact of popular comfort foods while preserving the flavor and texture qualities we love.

    Download Now!
  • 3 Quick and Easy No-Cook Sauces

    Tasty, nutrient-packed sauces are one of the key components of clean eating. You can easily mix and match simply prepared proteins such as chicken, eggs, meats, seafood and even beans with seasonal vegetables and a little fat for a quick and healthy meal. But that gets pretty boring without some kind of tasty seasoning. Learning how to whip up an easy sauce will keep your palate (and your family!) much happier about eating clean.

    Download Now!
  • The Spice Rack – Excerpted Chapter

    I wrote my first book, Simple Food for Busy Families, as a resource for families who were struggling to help their school-aged children to get out of the sandtraps of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). There is a wealth of information about cooking whole foods, including lots of "templates" for making basic dishes and this wonderful chapter on herbs, spices and how to use them to balance flavors in family cooking. I've excerpted it here for you as a special kind of "Cheat Sheet" resource.

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  • Wildcrafting Edible Weeds

    In warm seasons you can find dandelion greens and chive blossoms in the natural food stores and even some supermarket chains, but it’s cheap and easy to wild craft your own right from your own yard.

    Download Now!
  • Roasted Chickpea “Nuts”

    Roasted chickpeas make an excellent clean snack because they are high in fiber and protein, and low in sugar. When roasted, they become crunchy and dense, like a cross between a roasted nut and a corn nut, but with far fewer total calories.

    Download Now!
  • Homemade Yogurt

    The conflict rages on about the positive benefits versus negative consequences of consuming dairy products, but everyone agrees that clean, fermented dairy is the most digestible form. With yogurt, the live cultures also help to repopulate the human gut with beneficial probiotics, a positive for everyone who wants a smoothrunning digestive system. Learn how to make your own easily at home.

    Download Now!
  • What To Do With Winter Squash

    Though there are many different types of winter squashes available in grocery stores and farmer’s markets, you can cook them all in basically the same ways with two notable exceptions.

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  • Quick Cooking Conversions

    Sometimes you need to quickly convert different units or measurements from one to another when cooking. Keep this chart handy to help you in a pinch. The food equivalencies are approximate.

    Download Now!
  • 10-Minute Crudités Dinner

    Nothing planned for dinner? It’s SO easy to make a crudités platter with whatever raw veggies you have on hand! At least once a week my family has crudités with a basic, usually leftover, protein. This meal is simple, but it is powerfully healthy and can be quite delicious, too. Especially if you keep a few fresh herbs

    Download Now!
  • Poaching Chicken & Fish

    Poaching is a simple technique for cooking foods by simmering them gently in a liquid base. It is a quick and handy alternative to grilling or baking poultry or fish. Poaching generally works best with boneless, skinless cuts or filets.

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  • Simplest Homemade Vinaigrette

    Making your own salad dressing is easy and inexpensive and the fresh flavor is far superior to anything you can find in a bottle. Vinegars keep virtually indefinitely and there are so many different varieties to choose from, so when you see something that looks interesting, buy it and add it to your collection.

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  • Basic Smoothie Formula

    A smoothie makes a quick and easy balanced meal or mini-meal on the go. Smoothies are also a good vehicle for taking in specific nutrients you might need, like extra protein, fat, fiber or even leafy green veggies. The formula for the perfect smoothie will depend on your nutrient goals of the moment. Use the guidelines below as inspiration for making endless, interesting smoothies for all 4 seasons of the year.

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  • Homemade Mayonnaise

    Most store-bought mayo, even the all-natural stuff, has a base of refined, GMO soybean oil – yuck! But it’s not too difficult to make clean mayonnaise at home and the flavor is wonderful.

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  • Cooking Fish En Papillote

    En papillote is a French culinary technique for cooking individual servings of food inside of packets of tightly folded parchment paper. Cooking en papillote allows food to gently steam inside of a sealed environment, thus concentrating the flavors and containing the odors – perfect for fish.

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  • Basic Bone Broth

    Homemade broth made from the bones or shells of clean animals is a deeply nourishing staple that can be used as the base for endless varieties of soups and stews. It’s quite easy to make and tastier and less expensive than the prepared broths you buy in the supermarket.

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Time Saver

  • 10-Minute Crudités Dinner

    Nothing planned for dinner? It’s SO easy to make a crudités platter with whatever raw veggies you have on hand! At least once a week my family has crudités with a basic, usually leftover, protein. This meal is simple, but it is powerfully healthy and can be quite delicious, too. Especially if you keep a few fresh herbs

    Download Now!
  • Frozen Smoothie Staples

    Smoothies make a quick and tasty mini-meal that can work at any time of day or as a meal replacement in a pinch. Always having the ingredients you need on hand is the key to success for this clean and versatile snack. Since many of the core ingredients for smoothies are perishable, use your freezer to lengthen their shelf life.

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